She and the entire Applefest committee got a bit of good news. Route 8 will not be closed down during Applefest after all.
A revised work schedule for the two-year, $32.6 million project released today from PennDOT indicated the road will be open by September 30 and if further work remains to be done, it will be closed again after the festival is over.
"GRATEFUL... elated, ecstatic, fortunate." said Jodi Baker Lewis, executive director of the Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce, who brings the festival to Franklin each year. After hearing the original possible timeline indicated Route 8 might be closed that weekend she was admittedly a little freaked out. Applefest draws tens of thousands of people from all over the region and from all directions. Route 8 being closed would potentially be a detriment from people traveling from the south.
Baker Lewis said that the festival, which was closed last year, is filling up. "We still have room for more food vendors and a possibly a couple more non-profits."
She said there has been a great response from crafters and those spots are likely full at this point.
As for now festival preparations continue as planned because another bit of good news came across Baker Lewis's desk. She learned that permitting for the closure of Liberty on Saturday and Sunday will be announced sooner than later. At one point she said they wouldn't know if they could close the streets down until the week of the festival making planning difficult, but this week she learned she should know within days.
So it's been a good week for Applefest news and for Baker Lewis. "We do this for the community, It's how we say thank you."
Editor's note: The advertisement above will appear throughout the month on Eight & 322 thanks to the Chamber's support of this endeavor. We thank them for their support.
From PennDOT Press Release issued August 27, 2021
All northbound and southbound traffic will be detoured to Old Route 8 and Georgetown Road starting September 7, 2021. Plans call for the detour to be lifted by September 30, 2021 in time for Franklin’s annual Applefest event.
If needed, the detour will be reinstated on October 4, 2021. The detour is expected to be lifted permanently by mid-October.
The detour is needed for rehabilitations work to be done to the bridge over Georgetown Road in Irwin Township, including roadway approaches, deck surfacing, and barrier repairs.
The work is part of the two-year, $32.6 million project to repair and reconstruct nearly 10 miles of Route 8 from Georgetown Road in Irwin Township to Polk Cutoff Road (Route 3024) in Sandycreek Township in Venango County.
Construction continues on the southbound lanes. The detour for southbound traffic, is posted using Old Route 8 and Georgetown Road. It is expected to remain in place until September 25, 2021, at which time it will be opened to the Route 308 exit.
Additional information on the project is available online at Route 8 Reconstruction Project on www.penndot.gov/District1.